Paul Bunyan           SUPER HEROES OF THE WILD WEST                               Annie Oakley    

Have you ever heard of  Johnny Appleseed?  Annie Oakley? Paul Bunyan? Who were these characters and what do their stories have in common? They are all characters in Tall Tales.  When you are done with this project you will not only know about these characters, you will BE one, too.  Just imagine: you as a Super Hero!

You will visit websites for background information about Tall Tales.  Then you will read some Tall Tales, both on the internet and in books.  You will examine the characteristics of a Tall Tale character.  Finally you will be ready to write a tall tale with yourself as the star.

1.  Go to both of the following sites to read about Tall Tales:  
Introduction to the study of American Tall Tales and
American Folklore and Tall Tales  (click on number 3 "What are the features of a tall tale story?")

2.  Now go to these sites to read some tall tales:
    A) The story of John Henry
    B) An advertisement that exaggerates Annie Oakley:
    C) A story about Paul Bunyan:
        OR you can read these three very short stories about Paul Bunyan:   AND
    D) A short tale of Johnny Appleseed:

3.  Also read five Tall Tales from the classroom library.  Write down the title of each Tall Tale that you read.

4.  Choose three of the Tall Tales you have read (either online or from a book) and do any one of the following projects for each of them:
    A)  Draw a picture of the main character based on the description given.  Then write your own description of the character.
    B)  Write down at least four examples of exaggeration that you found in the story.
    C)  Write down at least four examples of simile that you found in the story. (Simile is when one thing is compared to another using the words             "like" or "as".)

5.  Read the information at: How to Write a Tall Tale .

6.  Write an outline of the main events of your Tall Tale. YOU will be the main character.  Use the template on any of the three following sites:   (first click on number 3 "What are the featurs of a tall tale story?", then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Tall Tale Story Frame)
Remember that the things happening to you should be "larger than life", fantastic, and exaggerated.  You must use at least five examples of exaggeration or simile in your story.

7.  Write a final draft of your Tall Tale.  Write it on the long sheets of paper in the back of the classroom.  We will be posting these on the bulletin board to share with others, so do your best work.  Check your punctuation and spelling.  Use your best handwriting or use a computer (ask your teacher to help you set the margins so it will print in the same shape as the long paper.)  You may illustrate your story, but this is not required.

 Have Fun!


Tall Tale Readings and 
Character Summaries
 less than 3 character drawings and/or exaggeration/similes A total of 3 character drawings and/or examples of exaggeration/simile.  BUT at least one drawing does not have description and/or less than 4 examples of exaggeration/simile A total of 3 of the following: character drawings with description and/or 4 examples of exaggeration/simile
Format of Tall Tale does not follow a given template follows a given template with slight variation follows a given template
Appearance of Tall Tale messy, many punctuation/spelling mistakes, and/or not on long paper few spelling/punctuation mistakes, neat but not on long paper is neat, correct spelling/punctuation, on long paper
Charateristics of Tall Tale has one example of exaggeration has two to four examples of exaggeration has five or more examples of exaggeration
Content of Tall Tale unclear plot, simply lists a series of exaggerations has clear plot clear plot and has details and descriptions to develop plot and character


If you would like to see Tall Tales written by other students, visit these websites:Johnny Appleseed
children in the Yukon made up these tall tales.
A fifth grade class in Maryland wrote and illustrated these tall tales.
a third grade class in Arizona created these tall tales.